Monday November 4, 2019 ~ VICTORIA
~ West Shore Voice News
Leader of the Green Party of Canada — Elizabeth May — has announced her intention to step down from being party leader, today November 4. She made the announcement in Ottawa today, accompanied by Green Party MPs Paul Manly and Jenica Atwin.
Deputy leader Jo-Ann Roberts has been appointed as the Green Party of Canada’s interim leader. The federal Green Party leadership contest will end with its biennial convention October 4, 2020 in Charlottetown, P.E.I. The two other recently elected Green MPs — Paul Manly (Nanaimo-Ladysmith) and Jenica Atwin (Frederiction) — say they will not be seeking the leadership.
The Greens were unable to expand their hold on Vancouver Island in the October 21 federal election beyond two of the seven seats, but gained a seat on the east coast in Fredericton. This puts the party more firmly on the mainstream political map.
May (or the interim Green leader) will meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the week of November 11, one on one, to discuss how the Green Party might work with the minority Liberal government to address some of the major issues of the campaign such as national pharmacare, indigenous issues and tackling climate change.
Trudeau is meeting with each opposition party leader next week. May’s resignation announcement came today, just days after Trudeau announced the one-on-one meetings. She had indicated even during the campaign that she did not intend to carry on to the next election as her party’s leader, but few expected her to step down this soon. She will continue as the Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands and be a parliamentary advisor to the interim and new party leader.
May is already eyeing the success of the Green Party that she’s built, for the 2023 federal election, saying it takes time to organize that, and makes sense to have a new leader in place sooner than later. One of the other goals of the federal Green Party is to grow their membership ahead of the 2023 federal election. Currently their membership count across Canada stands at about 20,000.
=========== BC aspect:
Here in BC, Andrew Weaver, leader of the BC Green Party (who last month announced his own resignation once a new leader is chosen in June 2020), released the following statement today on the resignation of Elizabeth May as leader of the Green Party of Canada:
“I thank Elizabeth May for her long-standing service to Canadians as the leader of the Green Party of Canada. Her impact on politics in Canada has been substantial. As the first Green MP, she led the way for the multiple Green caucuses elected in Canada today. As a voice of principle and reason on issues such as climate change, she has elevated the national conversation and forced other parties to take bolder positions.
“Moreover, Elizabeth has been widely recognized as one of Parliament’s hardest working MPs. As a colleague and constituent, I am pleased that she will stay on as MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands. In continuing as parliamentary leader, Elizabeth will support her the new Green caucus with a deep knowledge of serving as an elected representative in the House of Commons.
“As members of the Green Party of Canada reflect on what is next, I hope that it will be with an eye to building on Elizabeth’s legacy and the opportunity that the future holds. The federal party leadership contest will partly overlap with our own B.C. Green Party leadership contest, and while they remain distinct parties with separate leadership races and internal processes, I expect it to be an exciting time to explore new ideas and visions for Canada and B.C.”
Weaver announced last month that he is stepping down as the BC Green party leader. The BC Green Party leadership contest will end with its annual convention from June 26-28, 2020, about one year before the BC provincial election that is set for October 2021.